Eris – Never A Moments Peace?

 

I’m sort of cynical about certain things in modern astrology. Traditional astrology became seen as too limited and fatalistic, replaced with a don’t-worry-be-happy, silver linings everywhere way of thinking that I personally feels interferes with the ability to tell it like it is without being seen as “negative”. Another thing that gets under my skin sometimes about modern astrology is how quickly every newly discovered celestial body is assigned meanings, well before any proper vetting process has begun. There are infinite such bodies, not all can be relevant to human life. This was my gripe with the non-discovery of “Planet 9” earlier this year; the orbit of Planet 9 is so slow it’d barely move a single degree in a humans lifetime; yet, already some astrologers have assigned overblown meaning to it. Before it’s even actually been properly “discovered”, no less. There are Monty Python asteroids, I’m surprised there aren’t astrologers arguing over their meaning in a birth chart or a nations chart.

 

One of the more recent discoveries that does stand out from the rest is Eris, discovered in January 2005, coincidentally by the same team that demoted Pluto from major planet status and that announced the likelihood of Planet 9. I was skeptical of Eris at first, too; it stays in a single sign anywhere from 15 to 125 years, making it a stretch to even call it a “generational” effect during the longer transits. (Eris entered Aries in 1927 and will not enter the next sign of Taurus until 2048…). 10 years after discovery is not all that long of a learning process in how a body behaves astrologically. But, events worldwide in recent weeks has made me take a closer look at Eris, particularly as it is currently conjunct Uranus in Aries.

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Quickie Obervations On The Non-Discovery of “Planet 9”

Spoof poster, taken from the 1959 movie "Plan 9 From Outer Space"

Spoof poster, taken from the 1959 movie “Plan 9 From Outer Space”

 

I’ll just cut to the chase and say I’m underwhelmed by it. Mercury retrograde perfected its conjunction to Pluto at 15 degrees of Capricorn today, its a cynical and suspicious mood we’re in at the moment. Too much heavy mental lifting required of us now to entertain fantasy. Which is really all that the news of this new “Planet 9” is, no proof and only speculation and therefore not a “discovery” as it is being portrayed. In summary, this week two Caltech astronomers, Konstantin Batygin and Mike Brown announced a possible explanation for unusual orbital features of the Kuiper belt (where Pluto can be found, along with Eris and Sedna) that would be the result of an undiscovered planet. This Planet 9 (sometimes written Planet Nine) would be huge to create such an orbit, four times the size of Earth and ten times the mass. Some articles I’ve read say it has gone unnoticed because it is so far away, 75 times further out than Pluto, and in others (or, sometimes even in the same article!) it is being said that Planet 9 should be easily found with sensitive enough telescopes. I am not an expert on telescopes by any means so I know my opinion doesn’t matter but I’m giving that a major side-eye. It is worth noting that Mike Brown is the astronomer responsible for getting Pluto demoted from its planetary status and uses the handle @PlutoKiller on Twitter.

 

I expected scientific discoveries to be one result of the Saturn-Neptune squares. I am not as excited as others by this one. There’s no actual discovery, just the possibility of one, which is great and all but I don’t understand the hype over it. Lots of leads to potential breakthroughs go completely unnoticed. I’m guessing some of the hype would be to support funding for their project, with Brown saying the planet should be found within the next 5 years. I won’t be surprised if they do and I’ll be less surprised if they don’t, or if it takes longer. Mercury retrograde tightly conjunct Pluto in Capricorn suggests something is off about the model/structure and will no go smoothly; maybe there are other things that need to be discovered or understood better first.

 

The astronomy angle is all well and good by me. The non-astronomy angle is a little odd. Of course certain corners of the Internet are spouting the usual End Of The World crap. Some people are trying their best to connect the news of a possible new planet to the death of David Bowie and have volunteered “Bowie” as the official planetary name. (Yes, the celebrity deaths of January 2016 have an astrological explanation; Mercury (news, talk) conjunct Pluto (death) in Capricorn (age, mortality, status and respect, also potential for depression). I have unfortunately heard some very bad news that affects people I know in real life.)

 

Astrologically, though, even if Planet 9 becomes a real planet soon it won’t have a major impact. The distance from the Sun is so massive that Planet 9 would take 10,000 to 20,000 years to complete one trip around our biggest luminary. That means it would take somewhere between 833 and 1,666 years to transit each sign of the zodiac. You and I won’t feel this. It maybe could have some meaning in the unfolding of major millenia-length themes, such as geological ages or astrological ages, but anything that moves that slow would take long term research to properly understand its astrological implications. If it even has any,and not every body used nowadays in astrology has properly earned its current reputation. There are countless bodies in the heavens ( https://www.astro.com will let you select from 19,402 asteroids for a natal chart. If you are serious about astrology check out asteroid 30, Urania, in your chart…); only a select minority make a noticeable impact on human life.

 

One misleadingly small heavenly body that unquestionably leaves its mark on us is Pluto. Go through a bad Pluto transit and you’ll forever on think of your life in “before” and “after” terms. People with strong Pluto signatures in their birth charts live their entire lives in a state of metamorphosis. While I’m not impressed by the news of this alleged Planet 9, I do see the irony and synchronicity in its press release coming during a conjunction between Pluto and communication planet Mercury, courtesy of a guy priding himself on being the Pluto Killer. As if! Mercury retrograde conjunct Pluto in Capricorn sees more to this story than meets the eye. Learning more about the Kuiper belt objects may unintentionally result in Pluto giving up more of its secrets.

 

There’s a cosmic joke of some kind going on when news of an invisible planet comes from people who tried and failed to kill what we know to be real to us right now.